Economists were scratching their heads as the government reported the December jobs numbers. As a reminder, the report is a compilation of two surveys: The “establishment” or payroll survey asks employers how many jobs were filled during the month, how much these firms had to pay
workers and how many hours were worked. The “household survey” asks respondents whether they were working or actively seeking employment and gathers demographic data about the household.
According to employers, 199,000 jobs were created in December, about half of what was expected by economists, and yet according to the household survey, 651,000 became employed during the month. HUH? One explanation is
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